Roy Hodgson believes Tom Cleverley can do a similar job for England to that which Cesc Fabregas carries out for world and European champions Spain. Roy Hodgson thinks Tom Cleverley could be England’s Fabregas (Picture: Action Images) Fabregas was a key figure in Spain’s striker-less march to glory at Euro 2012 this summer, excelling in the ‘false nine’ role. Not that Hodgson is proposing to go that far. In Friday’s 5-0 victory in Moldova for instance, he played an orthodox forward in Jermain Defoe. And he is unlikely to ignore Wayne Rooney when the Manchester United man recovers from his gashed thigh. However, in the support role, Cleverley offers something different. ‘I suppose you could say Tom Cleverley is an attacking midfield player – but he’s an attacking midfield player in the same way Cesc Fabregas is,’ said the England boss. ‘He is quite capable of coming back into a central midfield role and winning the ball when necessary. He got closer to Defoe, allowing Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to get on the ball in deeper positions.’ Sidelined by injury for much of last season, Cleverley caught Hodgson’s attention while playing for Team GB at the Olympics. ‘It was important for me because that’s where I sort of discovered him,’ said Hodgson. ‘He got injured very early last season, so the Olympics allowed me to cast the rule over him.’ Cleverley was not the only youngster to impress, with Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also starring in a comprehensive victory. ‘Alex was very good in the first half but we made it clear we were going to take him off after 60 minutes, so I think he forgot to play in the second,’ said Hodgson. ‘That will be an interesting lesson for him. Especially when I tell him.’
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